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forklift workerForklifts are crucial tools used by numerous American employers. These machines can lift, carry, and transport heavy materials quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, they can also be dangerous. Data from the National Safety Council suggests that forklifts caused 70 work-related deaths in a recent year. Forklift accidents also resulted in 7,290 non-fatal injuries in a prior year. Put simply, anyone who operates or works near a forklift is potentially in harm’s way.

At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., we have seen the devastating and sometimes deadly consequences of forklift accidents in North Carolina. Our skilled Raleigh forklift accident attorneys are committed to helping individuals injured in these incidents recover the compensation they deserve to cover their financial losses.

Do you need to know your legal rights following a North Carolina forklift accident? Discuss your situation with a seasoned forklift accident lawyer from our firm today. At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., we will review your case and help you identify the next steps for pursuing the compensation you need. Contact us today for a confidential and free consultation.

How Can Our Attorneys Help You After a Forklift Accident?

Have you been involved in a forklift accident on the job? Often, people cross their fingers and hope that workers’ compensation benefits help them cover their medical expenses and lost wages. However, that isn’t always the case. Workers’ compensation claims can quickly get complicated and leave you with more questions than answers.

A forklift accident attorney can do more than help you collect the benefits you deserve. A lawyer will advocate for you, protecting your legal rights while examining your case from every angle to determine the best way to pursue full and fair compensation.

At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., we will thoroughly review your situation, collect vital evidence to support your case, and identify all potentially liable parties. We will negotiate aggressively for maximum compensation from every possible resource. You don’t have to manage a North Carolina forklift accident claim alone. An attorney can do the legal legwork while you recover from your injuries.

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Do You Need to Be Certified to Operate a Forklift in North Carolina?

Yes. Forklifts are specialized pieces of equipment. In North Carolina, employers must develop and implement training programs to highlight safe forklift operation practices and educate their employees on the hazards of improper use of these machines. By federal law, forklift operators must complete a training program meeting Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines before operating a powered industrial truck.

People who operate forklifts without a certified training program certificate violate North Carolina law. Employees and employers can face fines of up to $10,000. Forklift certifications must be renewed every three years to comply with safety and training guidelines.

According to the North Carolina Department of Labor, most individuals must meet specific criteria to become a forklift operator. Forklift operator requirements can include:

  • High school education or GED
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Good physical condition and eyesight (corrective lenses and eyewear are acceptable)
  • Passing an OSHA-compliant safety program

OSHA forklift training requirements must include information on operating instructions, safety precautions, and hazards in the workplace. Safety programs should consist of formal videos and lectures, practical demonstrations, and exercises during training. Training must culminate in evaluating an individual’s accumulated knowledge and skills.

Those seeking certification can find numerous North Carolina forklift training schools. The National Forklift Foundation website can help you locate a program in your area to help you get started.

Damages You Could Receive for a Forklift Accident

Forklift accidents can cause devastating injuries that may result in extensive medical expenses and prevent you from returning to work while you recover. Compensation could come from several sources.

Suppose a workplace accident leads to a forklift incident. You may be eligible to apply for North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and pay a portion of your lost wages.

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance. North Carolina businesses with over three employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Employees who are hurt on the job may be entitled to receive benefits regardless of fault. In addition to medical and wage-replacement benefits, an injured worker might also qualify for vocational rehabilitation if they cannot return to their previous job. However, pursuing workers’ compensation can be challenging and time-consuming without the help of an experienced Raleigh forklift accident attorney.

In some situations, workers’ compensation may not be the only avenue for recovering compensation for your injuries. Imagine the actions of a careless third party, such as a contractor or equipment manufacturer, caused the forklift accident. In that case, you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in addition to a workers’ compensation claim against your employer. A third-party injury lawsuit allows you to pursue money for the entire amount of your lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering — something impossible to do through a workers’ compensation claim alone.

A knowledgeable North Carolina forklift accident lawyer can review the specifics of your situation and determine the best course of action for you. An attorney can also prepare a strong workers’ compensation claim and evaluate whether a personal injury lawsuit against a third party is appropriate. An attorney will also negotiate aggressively for you so that no matter what, you stand the best chance possible at recovering the money you need.

Types of Forklift Accidents 

Forklifts are vital tools in several prominent industries. While these machines can handle some of the most arduous tasks in the workplace, they can also cause devastating physical injuries when an accident occurs.

Common types of forklift accidents include:

No matter the accident type, if you are seriously injured by a forklift accident in the workplace, the legal team at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., can review your situation and help you understand your legal rights and how to pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.

Causes of Forklift Accidents

Forklift accidents occur for many reasons. Some accidents result from improper training and education, leading people to use forklifts inappropriately or dangerously. However, forklift accidents can also result from mechanical defects and worn-out parts.

In North Carolina, the most common causes of forklift accidents include:

  • Lack of training
  • Improper use
  • Poor maintenance
  • Mechanical defects
  • Forklift design flaws
  • Overloading the forklift
  • Falling loads
  • Collisions with stationary objects, warehouse workers, or other vehicles
  • Reckless forklift operation
  • Falling off the forklift

Significant forklift accidents don’t just impact the operator. Depending on the situation, forklift accidents can cause severe injuries to pedestrians, colleagues, and customers. It is best to speak with a knowledgeable forklift accident attorney as soon as possible to help determine your next steps if you’ve been hurt.

Common Injuries After a Forklift Accident

The typical forklift weighs around 9,000 pounds. Although compact, these machines are warehouse workhorses and can cause enormous damage and significant injuries when something goes wrong.

Some of the most common injuries associated with forklift accidents include:

Many forklift accident injuries can lead to significant medical expenses and result in temporary or permanent disabilities. Talk to a North Carolina forklift accident lawyer to learn how to obtain compensation for your medical costs and financial losses. A lawyer can relieve the stress and confusion of pursuing compensation so you can focus on healing.

Younce Vtipil Baznik & Banks personal injury law team

Get in Touch With Our Raleigh Forklift Accident Lawyers

Did you suffer injuries in a forklift accident at work? You deserve effective legal representation from a trusted and knowledgeable forklift accident lawyer. At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., our dedicated attorneys will work with you from start to finish of your claim, helping you pursue the benefits and money you need to recover.

Take the first step to protect yourself today. Contact Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. for help. Call (919) 661-9000 or complete our online contact form now. We offer free consultations in English or Spanish to help you learn your legal rights to compensation.

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